Jimenez, McKeon backing amendment to move legislative redistricting to 2023 if necessary

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Assembly members Angelica Jimenez (D-32) and John McKeon (D-27) are backing a constitutional amendment that would move legislative redistricting to 2023 if necessary.

Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32). Photo via the NJ Assembly Dems.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

ACR-188 would seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment that would reschedule legislative redistricting to 2023 if U.S. Census data is not available in time.

The plan would keep the current legislative district maps in place for an additional two-year term until then.

“This amendment would eliminate any confusion about the process that would take place if a court is forced to get involved at the last minute. It would also prevent any group from receiving an unfair advantage from moving dates for elections,” Jimenez said in a joint statement.

“The amendment would also protect communities of color and other hard-to-count populations that stand to make significant gains due to increases in population over the last decade.”

Legislative redistricting was scheduled for 2021, though that hinged on the Census certifying New Jersey’s population figures by February 15th.

“An undercount could not only prove detrimental to the way federal funding gets apportioned over the next decade, but would largely affect the way our communities are represented through all levels of government,” McKeon added.

Prior to going to the voters, the legislature would need 24 votes in the senate (25 Democrats) and 48 in the assembly (52 Democrats).

While Republican support is theoretically possible, some GOP leaders have already panned the idea, with state Chairman Doug Steinhardt calling the effort “a power grab” by Democrats.

Assembly members Benjie Wimberly (D-35), Yvonne Lopez (D-19), Britnee Timberlake (D-34), and Tom Giblin (both D-34) also signed on to introduce the bill in the lower house.